A FORMER cop who smoked cannabis while off-duty will never be allowed to work for the police again following a ‘serious breach of trust’.

Newbury-based officer PC Christopher Howarth, who quit Thames Valley Police earlier this year, will be named on the College of Policing’s barred list after admitting gross misconduct.

The officer tested positive for cannabis on July 21, 2021, and was deemed unfit to carry out his responsibilities.

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After resigning from the force, it was claimed PC Howarth had “brought discredit on the police service” and a misconduct hearing was scheduled for last week.

Here, it was proven that PC Howarth’s actions did amount to misconduct despite his use of the class B drug coming while he was off-duty.

Thames Valley Police Chief Constable John Campbell said: “From the papers submitted and evidence presented today, I am content that the alleged misconduct is, on the balance of probabilities proven.

“This is achieved not only by the admission of the ex-officer but corroborated by the laboratory test, indicating the use of cannabis, up to 3 - 4 days before the urine sample was obtained.

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“Clearly, the officer, in knowingly using that cannabis, has breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of Discreditable Conduct and Fitness for Work.

“Given the serious nature of that breach, I find that his behaviour on that day amounts to gross misconduct.

“Such unlawful behaviour by a police officer is clearly incompatible with him continuing to serve in that role and a serious breach of trust and confidence to the public we serve and the colleagues he worked alongside.

“As such, I have no hesitation in finding that if PC Howarth had still been serving then I would have dismissed him without notice.”

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PC Howarth’s name was set to be placed on the College of Police Barred list following the hearing.

The hearing took place in Kidlington, Oxford on Friday, September 3.